Part 140: 10/28-10/29: Straight As An ArrowPart 132: 10/28-10/29: Straight As An Arrow
Well be going to Niijimas Palace, so I want to look into her. Things like her work ethic and relationships. It doesnt matter whether its public or private.
Its kind of fucked up that weve basically just identified a likelihood that Sae is going to do some bad shit, Minority Report-style, and were already actively working to undermine her privacy. For some reason this bothers me more than the fact that we plan to brainwash her. She hasnt actually done anything wrong yet besides be a total shit to Makoto, is what Im saying.
Those would help us come up with countermeasures in case we hit a roadblock in her Palace.
I mean, I guess thats a decent excuse, though Makoto would probably know a lot of what wed need anyway.
I can look up more, you know. Stuff like her repertoire of underwear.
You tell her too!
I thought youd like that
Im not a sex pest, Futaba. This games weird enough about that stuff already.
Ahem! Also, I may be overthinking it, but my voice--
Futaba grabs Morganas face.
Same as always.
Let me finish first! *sigh* ...Theres something else we want you to look into.
My memory is a haze...
Anon: id bet money on the arrest
Anon: Akechi-kun, save us!
Anon: Record-breaking evil
Anon: stop shitposting lol
First off, the investigation team has announced new progress in the search for the Phantom Thieves. Secondly, the opposition party has submitted a vote of no confidence regarding the current Cabinet. That along with Legislator Shidos plan for a new party has sparked fears of governmental disbandment.
Oh my god THE GOVERNMENT HAS DISBANDED
Music: So Boring
Oh right, we were never told where to meet up.
At the courthouse.
Hint: The government office district.
Oh, Ive heard of that place. Never been there though.
Its not somewhere normal people usually go.
You know, all those weirdos in civil service.
Whoa. Just looking at the map is impressive. The Police department, Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecutors Office, AND Public Security. The Diet Building is right near there too.
For real!? What kinda scary place are we going to!?
We wont get caught, right ?
According to Akechi-kun, our identities havent been discovered yet.
So we are jut going to plunge head-first into enemy territory Has anyone contacted Akechi?
Were going to meet him there. Be on guard, everyone. Well be heading into a lions den.
Being in the general vicinity of public servants isnt actually that dangerous even for us, unless theyre expecting large groups of teenagers to go waltzing up to the Tax Bureau or whatever the fuck and have set a trap accordingly. Honestly, the biggest risk would just be Akechi accidentally fatfingering the wrong group text and blasting Hey Maaku, Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Makoto, Futaba, and Haru. Ready for our covert Phantom Thieves business? to the entire police department.
Lets hurry up and get started. Akechi, what did you find out?
I rarely get to see Sae-san directly, but Ive figured out her course of action. On the 20th, an investigation will likely be done at Shujin Academy as well as the Sakura residence.
Wait, I thought they didnt know who we were, and the risk was they were going to arrest the wrong person? Why would they go to Sojiros place?
For real ?
...Then that means, our time limit is November 20th.
But this should be a substantially forced operation. I doubt itll take place before the 20th.
Well take your word. For now, we need to focus on infiltrating her Palace.
I concur. And, we should probably get going soon. After all, people like us standing around here is quite unnatural. Well then...
Music: Wicked Plan
Oh, those wacky hijinks the Phantom Thieves get up to, hyuk~
Im so sorry. Until recently, Futaba was actually a well
Its OK, Sae-san told me the gist.
Oh, right. Akechi-kun, it may be best if you exchange contact info with everyone too, not just me.
*sigh* Ill send everyones contacts to you later
Akechi looks around at everyone.
Well then, I hope we get along. Ill do my best.
Though our positions are somewhat different, Akechi will be joining us for the time being I feel like my bond with Akechi has grown even deeper...
And with that, Akechi has joined the Phantom Thieves, and gotten all the requisite gameplay benefits from his Confidant. Prior to this point in the Confidant menu, these skills were displayed as LOCKED, but we now have access to them.
Futaba hands Akechi back his phone.
Shes praising you I believe.
Then, shall we get started?
Maaku takes his phone out.
We need to figure out what Makotos sis thinks this courthouse is, right?
I often hear her call it a place of competition in which she must always win.
A competition, huh That sounds like Sae-san.
Itd be unbearable if we were put on trial for a reason like that. ...Although, a competition means its a match of some sort. Might it be a martial-arts ring?
Conditions have not been met.
Then perhaps a stadium? Or maybe an arena?
Conditions have not been met.
There are other competitions besides fighting and sports.
How about a racetrack for horses? Other than that, theres pachinko, but does that count as gambling?
We played cards during the school trip.
That doesnt really help, Ryuji.
Conditions have not been met.
What else is there?
It must be a casino
Akechi is surprised.
I definitely see Sae-san in you.
What a cruel thing to say!
Welp, its time we head in then.
Thats it huh? Whats going on here?
Seems like it
And so, were finally back here.
Everywhere else seems to be a normal cityscape.
I didnt know that the station and the courthouse were next to each other.
Our attire hasnt changed That must mean we arent considered threats or hostiles yet.
The police stations also part of her work area though, whenever arrests are made for her cases. Ive brought her food and belongings when she was sent on loan to the police.
We got no business with the cops, right? This might be the Metaverse, but I dont wanna go in a station.
That reminds me, hell need a code name too.
That reminds me in this game seems to just mean I thought of this for no reason.
Phantom thieves cant go around usin their real names, right? It aint cool either.
Thats not the actual reason we decided to use them, but whatever.
Just for reference, what is everyone elses?
We pretty much decided on them with how we look, didnt we?
Haru is quiet.
What is it, Haru?
O-Oh, its nothing...
Okay, I get what this joke is supposed to be, with Harus nascent sense of justice leading her to pick the code name Noir. Then, as a reference to the fact that the rest of the team thought it was a bit odd, she feels embarrassed about it now. It just doesnt really come across that well. First, because that was like ten hours ago and no ones remarked upon or developed any of that since, and second because Noir is still a badass code name.
Then perhaps Karasu will be best for me. You know, like a raven.
Are your clothes all black or something?
The reverse, actually. If our code names are to hide our identities, wouldnt that be better?
Karasu Hed be the only Japanese-sounding one.
Noir is the only French-sounding one, who cares?
Why not go with Crow instead?
All right, from here on out, youre Crow.
Music: The Whims of Fate (Listen to this)
This is one of the best songs in the game, which is fitting, because this is also the best Palace by a comfortable margin.
Sorry Haru, but youre benched for now. Time to see what Goro has to offer.
We cant go in the front door obviously, so we head up this fire escape and jump across.
There, we find a door waiting for us.
Pfffff Oh god, what the fuck, I dont know if I can hold back the laughter Look at this fuckin nerd!
Dude, you plannin on stealin stuff in that getup?
It just means thats what he thinks a rebel looks like.
Like a parade float?
No, this is my mental image of a person who sticks to their justice.
Well, I think your mask is more apt for piercing rather than sticking
But were in a flashy casino. Theres no doubt this is a Palace.
...Oh right, Crow doesnt know too much about cognitive beings, does he?
Ah, yes. In addition to similar topography, cognitive people exist based on the rulers perceptions.
That prolly didnt make much sense cause of all the fancy terms he was usin, huh?
In essence, since these ones look like real people, Sae-sans view of others is surprisingly undistorted. But considering what I see before me, its difficult to believe it is not actually a real casino.
Not all cognitions are normal though. In Futaba and Okumuras Palaces, we had to battle them. People may look normal, but we should be careful particularly of those in positions of power.
Is this what you have to go through every time?
Hm, this is a first for me Im somewhat nervous.
Just dont slow us down, Crow.
I will not allow that to happen.
OK, its time we head inside. Our deadline for this infiltration is November 20th. Any later, and well get caught in reality. Of course, well need to secure an infiltration route before we send out the calling card. As always.
Aww, he looks so excited.
Will you please stop interrupting?
Well then lets go.
Music: The Whims of Fate
This room is just jumping across lights until we come to a vent we have to crawl through.
Come on down and I will tell you where it is.
Wh-What!? Were not going to fall for a trick like that
*chuckle* Its not a lie. I only wish to do this fair and square.
Your Palace is a fucking casino. Fair and square my ass.
You arent going to run, are you...
We should do as she says. There is no point in hiding any longer.
That seems like a bad idea, but youre the detective, I guess
Hoo boy, now thats a look for a Shadow. Not gonna lie Im kinda into it.
The Treasure is located on the Managers Floor, at the highest point of this building.
...Why are you telling us this?
Its as I said before I wish to go about this in the fairest manner possible. First, I ask that you come up to my location. We will continue this there
Shadow Sae snaps her fingers...
And shes gone!
We technically have free roam of this room at the moment, but the only thing we can do here is enter a safe room. Lets just head to the elevator instead.
Perhaps it bears relation to a players club of sorts.
I cant handle your technical speak! Just gimme it straight!
Technical isnt the word Id use, Ryuji.
Casinos typically have a membership system called a players club. Some locations even have areas cordoned off for particular ranks of player. Considering the setup of this place, I thought things may be similar here.
Thatll make this shit simple. Cmon, lets join this player thingy.
I would agree with you, but
As I expected. Registration will not be such a simple matter.
She must be daring us to challenge the security of this place to make it to her.
Tch, here it comes!
I promise to surpass even such lofty hopes as those.
Music: Will Power
Dont worry. You can leave this one to me.
Akechi already had his Persona, so no fancy awakening for him, sadly. Akechi is pretty damn useful, though.
Akechi uses fucking lightsabers as melee weapons...
...and for a gun, he has a laser pistol with six shots.
Hes the only party member with access to the neutral Almighty element (Megidola is Heavy Almighty to all foes), can use Megaton Raid for Severe Physical damage to one foe, and can use a variety of Bless and Curse skills. He starts with Kouga and Eiga, single-target Medium Bless and Curse, as well as Hamaon and Mudoon, which are medium chances to instant-kill any non-boss with Bless or Curse.
He starts with seven of his eight skill slots taken, with the one we cant see right now being reserved for Fortify Spirit, a passive skill that reduces the chance of suffering a status ailment. He also learns all kinds of other shit. Almost too much, Id say. He can revive people. He learns an automatic Tarukaja spell. In the endgame he gets Debilitate, which lowers all three stat parameters for a single foe (which can lead to some stupid damage numbers if you set it up correctly).
Hes pretty versatile, is what Im saying. He is weak to Curse, but his ability to use Curse anyway is great. His only real downside is that hes something of an SP hog due to his starting lack of multi-target skills outside of Megidola, which cant hit any weaknesses. If we want to knock anyone down with him, were gonna have to do it one at a time.
Speaking of which, we actually cant knock this guy down with Akechi. He resists everything except Curse, which he blocks, and Bless, which hes neutral to. Its kind of annoying because we cant see his cut-in or his finisher in this fight, but the fights also really easy, to the point where I wont bother uploading a video.
Music: The Whims of Fate
And I am capable of much more. Now then, let us deal with the Shadows quickly.
Wait. Doesnt it sound like were gonna get ambushed based on what we heard earlier?
...I agree. Id like to deal with them as quick as we can But now that we have an infiltration route, Id suggest we return for now and prepare.
Very well, I trust your experience and judgment. Let us do that.
Music: Beneath the Mask
We will need to explain the steps to take though.
That is unnecessary. First we secure an infiltration route, then send the calling card. Correct? In doing so, the core of the rulers distorted desires will manifest into a physical form. By taking that core, the change of heart will be triggered. I deduce the steps would be something along those lines?
It aint as easy as it sounds. Dont underestimate this shit.
I am not underestimating anything, I assure you.
By the way, Niijima-sans Shadow seemed really confident...
Come now, there is no need for hostility. I will simply have to come to Leblanc every day in that case.
Thats not enough for now. Lets prepare well for the coming task.
Ah, yes. My apologies for somewhat derailing this conversation.
We will be counting on you, Akechi. Failure is not an option here.
Yes. Ill do my best to live up to all of your expectations.
The crucial moments finally here! Give it all youve got!
But I seriously believe the Phantom Thieves are innocent. By the way, I changed up the survey question. Its already in flames though. Its a problem for me too if people dont think the Phantom Thieves are heroes Just try and clear the stigma on your name as soon as you can, OK? Im counting on you!
So people are turning on us even in his survey? Our popularity is really at an all-time low
However Hes not the only traitor! Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode You Again, Hawk?
Well, we're ready to start our Palace infiltration whenever we choose. But before we go:
This is Akechis Persona, Robin Hood. You fucking know who Robin Hood is. Merry Men, Sherwood Forest, Maid Marian, robbing the rich and giving to the poor, apparently fought in the Crusades which I didnt know but is pretty fucked up, etc.
For real though, Robin Hood was a legendary outlaw of English folklore, a skilled archer and swordsman, who fought against the Sheriff of Nottingham, who took his lands for Prince John, who usurped the throne from the rightful King Richard. Sometimes he fought in the Crusades, sometimes he was just born a noble, its not terribly consistent and theres tons of theories about its actual veracity, including one that posits he was a stock alias of English outlaws in general. Modern legends have updated some of this, too, but the legends are generally always that he fights injustice (like giving to the poor and stealing from the rich, of course) and remains loyal to the rightful king like the filthy monarchist that he is.
Also the game wants to keep Akechi being a party member secret despite the fact that hes on the fucking boxart, so theres no official Soejima portrait of Robin Hood like the other party member Personas. Instead, we have to use this concept art. Looking at it makes me realize that holy shit, Robin Hood is just All Might.
Anyway, Akechi is voiced by Robbie Daymond, probably one of the better-known VAs in the cast for his role as Prompto from Final Fantasy XV, though he's also been in many other large roles like Sorey from Tales of Zestiria (an absolutely miserable game that you should not play) Mumen Rider in One Punch Man, Chrollo Lucilfer from Hunter x Hunter, and Ide in FLCL Progressive. He's also currently Spider-Man in a cartoon that I watched some of and didn't like. Anyway, Daymond's got an infectiously cheery voice, which helps sell certain aspects of Akechi's character rather well. Some of the more dramatic scenes end up being a little flatter though. Not a bad performance in my opinion, still. Moving on!